Forgotten St Albans artist’s Stations of the Cross to be unveiled at Harrow church

A WOODEN set of Stations of the Cross carved by “forgotten” St Albans artist Ian Howgate has been painstakingly restored for a church in Harrow.

Vicar of St George’s, Headstone, Stephen Keeble, said the church recently acquired the “wonderful early 20th Century set without knowing their provenance”.

The set of designs, carved in the mid-1930s, depict scenes from Jesus’s condemnation to his crucifixion and being laid in the tomb.

They were in a “rather sorry, dirty state” when purchased from a shop in Walsingham, the dealer of which had acquired them at little cost at an antiques fair.

Stephen explained that the church was surprised to learn about the panel’s creator, following research.

He said: “They have been lovingly and painstakingly restore by fine art restorer John Malcolm.”

John’s father, Kenneth, a retired senior restorer at the National Gallery, said: “We could not believe the quality of carving and the beauty of design. The Stations were created by a highly skilled artist, as can be seen in the carving relief to all the figures and backgrounds.”

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Ian Howgate, an ecclesiastical artist, attended the St Albans School of Art in Victoria Street.

In the 1930s he worked for Faith-Craft in St Albans, a high quality ecclesiastical stained glass and furnishing enterprise owned by the Anglo-Catholic society of the faith.

Ian’s painting of the coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is on the ceiling of the apse of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, which he completed in 1938.

He served in the RAF during the Second World War, but did not return to a career in art afterwards.

Ian, who died in St Albans in 1989, worked for Marconi.

The panels will be dedicated at a special service at St George’s in Pinner View at 10am this Sunday, December 2. All are welcome to attend.